The topic of sustainability is rapidly gaining attention across America from both coasts and will likely have a dramatic impact on the businesses of ag retailers and their customers. There are many long-term benefits to be gained from a more sustainable approach to production agriculture. However, it will also add to the cost and complexity of production, as well as the creation of new products, practices and information systems that will be necessary to deliver and monitor sustainable agriculture practices.

The ARA Conference & Expo is the premier event of the year for the agricultural retail and distribution industry, and the theme for this year's event is Growing a Sustainable Business: What Your Customers, Consumers and the Government Want from Ag Retailers. The ARA conference program will examine the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability from several unique perspectives. It's scheduled for Nov. 29 - Dec. 1, 2011, at the beautiful Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida. 

2011 ARA Conference & Expo Speakers

• Ian Hope Johnstone, Director for PepsiCo Agriculture Sustainability

• Jonathan Kaplan, Senior Policy Specialist with the Natural Resources Defense Council

• Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture active in water quality issues

• Mac Carraway, Florida Growers and Host of the Tropicana Carbon Footprint Fertilizer Study

• Thom Winninger, Marketing Strategy Consultant and Nationally Recognized Speaker

• Retailer Panel Discussion Featuring:

o Dave Coppess, Heartland Co-op and President of the Clean Water Alliance

o Bob Willard, Willard Agri-Service, 2010 National Environmental Respect Award Winner involved in sustainability projects on the East Coast

o Orvin Bontrager, Servi-Tech in Nebraska, and Past President of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants

• Sustainable Agriculture Technology Demonstration featuring:

o Andy Kennedy, President of Food LogiQ

o Andres Ferreyra, Manager of Special Projects for Ag Connections

o Kevin Pattison, President of Agri-Data Solutions

Networking Opportunities

The 2011 ARA Conference also includes numerous opportunities to network with your industry friends, including the ARAPAC Golf Tournament and the ARA Annual Dinner & Auction..  Both of these events usually sell out early, so register now to make sure you are able to participate. We encourage you to register your spouse for the event also, so they can participate in an expanded program of fun activities, including a resort tour, brunch and Carribean Cooking demonstration. More details on all conference activities are available on the ARA website.

ARA encourages all attendees to register online.  Click here to register now!